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Edinburgh edge out Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade

Edinburgh kept alive their hopes of Champions Cup qualification by beating Newport Gwent Dragons 16-15 in the Guinness PRO12 at Rodney Parade.

The Scottish side headed to Newport needing to win to cut the gap to sixth-placed rivals Glasgow and they did just that thanks to a try by Hamish Watson and 11 points from the tee.

The victory leaves seventh-placed Edinburgh four points behind the Warriors in the scramble for spots in next year's elite European competition with just four fixtures remaining, while they could even sneak into the play-offs with a perfect finale.

The Dragons, meanwhile, have won just four league games all season, are languishing in 10th and looking nervously over their shoulder at the Italian pair of Zebre and Treviso.

Dragons fly-half Dorian Jones missed an ambitious long-range penalty in the second minute and it was a cagey opening, with neither side able to create a clear opening against well-drilled defences.

Edinburgh grew into the game and went close after 14 minutes when fly-half Phil Burleigh sniped clear at a ruck before flanker Watson went on the charge.

The Dragons snuffed out that attack but soon were caught offside to allow Blair Kinghorn to make it 3-0 in the 18th minute.

That advantage almost increased after 25 minutes when Watson opted to go for the line with men outside to his right, only to be dragged down just short by prop Brok Harris.

Edinburgh had to settle for another penalty - this time through the left boot of scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne - and there was no doubting they were good value for the 6-0 lead.

The Dragons then enjoyed their best spell of the half approaching the interval with Wales wing Hallam Amos bundled into touch just short and prop Phil Price and flanker Lewis Evans held up over the line.

They had to settle for three points through Jones, only to immediately waste that effort straight from the restart when Hidalgo-Clyne made it 9-3 with the final kick of the half.

After a tryless first 40 minutes both teams crossed the whitewash in the opening minutes of the second half.

Amos burst through midfield for a score that Jones converted, only for Edinburgh to regain the initiative thanks to Watson and Hidalgo-Clyne after a driving line-out.

Edinburgh's lead was reduced to a point when Amos finished powerfully down the left for his second to make it 16-15.

Hidalgo-Clyne was wide with an effort that would have given a bit of breathing space and it was tense as the game entered the final quarter of an hour.

The scrum-half missed again with 10 minutes left but it did not cost his side as they held on for a precious victory.


From Belfast Telegraph